Sunday, 24 January 2010

New School

Well, I love to read some of the interesting entries that some of the best gaming writers produce (no names - I'm gonna hit on those guys in just a second).

But what always agitates me, is that some of these writers are a lot older than I am. They're what I'd rather call Old School Gamers. And the trouble with these gamers, is sometimes it's hard to relate to what they're writing, because they begin to reference to some of the classic and innovative game titles from the 80s and 90s.

No doubt, the game industry has a storied history. And it's a very interesting one too. Games go very far back. There are some incredibly gifted people out there who designed and created the simplest games. And although their contribution to the gaming industry is literally minimal, figuratively they have paved the way for the future of gaming. And so it seems - because of them, we have games as incredible as they are to this day.

That's my acknowledgement of gaming history. But it's only brief. There is so much more to gaming history. There are so many games, developers, producers and communitys that have contributed to making the games industry what it is today.

But I don't want to go out of my way to look deep into this history. As nice as it is to know how we got here, I think the most interesting blogs I ever read are about the here and now. That way, I understand the topic more. That way, we're keeping our heads into the current games that are paving the way for a promising future that we have no idea about.

My gaming history starts with RARE's 007 Goldeneye. That was a game that went down very well with all parties. I think that was one of the first FPS games, along with Doom, that really kicked off the FPS genre, and the success we now see.

So when these gaming bloggers start talking about games from the distant past, I feel a great sense of being left out. I can't relate to the topics of their posts. I'm not their target audience!

So I think there needs to be a new set of gaming bloggers. I don't want to start this great divide in gamers. We are all a part of a precious community that has become such a mainstream. But there needs to be some new school bloggers.

We need people who are willing to talk about the industries more recent games. And give the younger gamers who are interested in writing about games a role model. An inspiration. An example.

False advertising

I wanted to bring a topic to the front today. I've been in particular distress lately about the fact that Trailers these days require false advertising in order to sell. The developers and producers create these trailers showing completely fake content that doesn't even feature in the game.

This agitates me. Lets take a look at this Trailer, for example:

This is the 2008 Launch Trailer for Far Cry 2. One of my favourite games. I know its Story Mode inside out. Most of this footage doesn't feature in the game.

Perhaps they're building some history for their main characters. By showing that Tambossa and Mbantuwe have strong personalities, they build some character profile prior to the game. And to support that, it never says that the trailer is showing in-game footage. But what about the footage we don't see?

It looks like the footage in this trailer may be what the game was originally intended to be. Ubisoft tried to make the game nice and advanced, but ended up scrapping the idea. They decided to go for the simple idea to save time and effort. Hence, why we only see these supposedly charismatic, short-fused and ruthless leaders sitting in a chair all the time - rather than standing out on the balcony shooting people. Or pummelling some mercenary into the ground when they're angry.

Or blowing up explosives on a Bridge. That's actually what YOU who does that in a Buddy Subverted Mission. In order to make the debris of the Bridge fall onto the Barge - where your target to kill is.

Here's Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising's new Trailer for their latest DLC pack Overwatch.

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Risings biggest down fall was the fact that in order to make it as realistic as possible, the game developers left out the funnest part of games. Its gameplay.

They wanted so badly to banish the run and gun tactics that Call of Duty regrettedly reinforced (especially with their latest title Modern Warfare 2). However, Codemasters went a little overboard. The gameplay is - in my opinion - horrific. It's slow. It's not smooth. It throws me off the game entirely. It is NOT a close quarters game. The game isn't responsive enough to go in close range. You'd get shot to pieces from the AI if you were close to them and tried to spray bullets or simply aim.

It takes about 10 seconds to change equipment, and I wished I was exaggerating. And the worlds graphics are a major disappointment. This game is the complete opposite to Far Cry 2 with its graphics.

Far Cry 2 looks great up close, but bad from a distance.

OPF: DR looks horrible up close, but great from a distance.

The grass and mountains have a nice touch from such range. Up close it just looks tatty, lazy, disgusting.

The trees are so pathetic that I'd rather not rant on the game. Just in case this becomes a blog about hitting on Codemasters efforts with Operation Flashpoint: DR, and I am forced to change the blog title!

So ultimately, Codemasters pieced together an incredibly intelligant trailer to advertise their new DLC. The idea of their DLC is obviously to enhance the game, which I believe with the first DLC it most certainly did (to an extent), and I believe this DLC (which I have ceased to invest in since I have given up on the game) looks like it has/may enhance the game even more (especially for its Multiplayer side of things).

The Trailer has been HEAVILY edited, in order to make the DLC more attractive. The fast cut between frames is a really intelligant idea which suggest to the viewer that the action is fast paced. It gives an action packed performance to leave the audience thinking WOW.

It's simply false advertising. They're trying to say "Buy this DLC and the game will suddenly be action packed like it's Modern Warfare 2!".

I don't buy this false advertising once I realise how fake it is. I don't believe it's right. It's the reason why most games leave fans disappointed. Because when you falsely advertise, you promise the gamers something they won't get. If they gets their hopes up, get excited over many reasons for the game, and it turns out most of those reasons aren't even in the game - then you'll get negative responses.


Sunday, 17 January 2010

Far Cry 2 - Still Got It?

Has Far Cry 2 still got it? I couldn't help but find myself playing FC2 again, after such a long absence. What really caught me, was how each play-through had me as excited and intrigued as the next!

I know exactly how the story ends. I know how it begins. I vaguely remember what each mission is, where it requires me to go, and what I have to do. I don't even need the briefings from the faction leaders these days.

But something still draws my interest. And it's the definate fact that FC2's story mode is solely based around your playthrough. It determines how you play to decide how it plays. And that factor is the most impressive side to Far Cry 2.

Despite mixed opinions amongst my personal group of friends, I seem to be the only person who can see the positive side to the game. It's pro's and con's list is quite a long one, but I honestly don't think either of the two lists out-weigh one another.

You see, the game has as many flaws as it has its best features. And better yet, there are so many different unique ways of looking at the game. And that comes through personal imagination. How you respond to Far Cry 2 as a game. Whether you allow your imagination to get tangled up with this war-torn world of Africa.

Sometimes, I could sit in a Swamp Boat, watching the rain fall down into the soft water, as I pass by mountains of moist Jungle. And although I'm sitting in my bedroom, I'm almost feeling the hot, moist atmosphere. Almost feeling the rain fall onto my skin. And feeling the cool breeze pass through my hair. I think Ubisoft Montreal payed a bit too much time and effort trying to make the player feel immersed into the World they were in, rather than make the player feel like they're playing an awesome, action-packed game where nothing ever stops you from getting interested.

But that's where some people love the game, and some people hate it.

But the fact that I can immerse myself into that World is not only impressive, but it's also all a part of that imagination. You need to open your mind to the idea of it. You can't think too hard about being in this World. You need to just feel it. Let it come naturally. And if it can't, then this game was obviously not intended for you. However, if you pose the desire to continue playing the game, then you definately have the consideration and curiosity that is required to even appreciate the game.

So has Far Cry 2 still got it? Yes. I believe it does. And it always will. Because no matter what you do with this game, if you come back to it with a different frame of mind, or a different tactic - then you're promised a new result. An interesting result - because it's different to your last result!